Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Don't miss
Home / Verdicts & Settlements / Drywaller settles after injuring spine in fall through hole in floor

Drywaller settles after injuring spine in fall through hole in floor

A drywall installer who suffered a severe spinal injury after falling through a hole in a residential construction project obtained a $5 million settlement, according to his attorney.

Brett Coppage of Edelman & Thompson in Kansas City said the accident occurred on Dec. 6, 2018, when the plaintiff was lifting sheets of drywall laid on the floor. Unbeknownst to him, a hole had been cut in the subfloor so that drywall could be delivered into the basement. He fell through and sustained a burst fracture in the lower thoracic portion of his spine, leaving him partially paralyzed.

The developer of the project had installed a barrier in front of the hole, but it was later removed and sheets of drywall were laid on the floor to cover it, though who was responsible for those changes was disputed.

Coppage said the suit was resolved with a $1 million payment from the developer and $4 million from the drywall delivery company. Chris Rackers of Schreimann, Rackers & Francka, an attorney for the drywall delivery company, confirmed details of the settlement.

RELATED: Click to search for and submit your Verdicts & Settlements

$5 million settlement

Premises Liability

Venue: Jackson County Circuit Court at Independence

Case Number/Date: Confidential/Feb. 14, 2023

Injuries: T12 compression burst fracture that was surgically compressed with instrumentation and fusion spanning T10 to L2, with incomplete paraplegia in both lower extremities and neurogenic bladder

Plaintiff’s Experts: Frank Morris, Tri-State Consultants (construction code consultant); Terry Corday (vocational); Dr. Roger Huckfeldt (life care planning); Kurt Krueger (economics)

Defendants’ Expert: Jim Lambie (construction code consultant)

Caption: Confidential

Plaintiff’s Attorney: Brett Coppage, Edelman & Thompson, Kansas City

Defendants’ Attorneys: Chris Rackers, Schreimann, Rackers & Francka, Jefferson City (for drywall delivery company); Patrick Hunt, Baty Otto Coronado Scheer, Kansas City (for developer)